*Hey, we live in a stressful world. What with all the issues surrounding money and not making enough of it, long work hours, not enough sleep, making sure our children are protected — its got to take a real toll on you sometimes…in the bedroom.
Everyone handles stress differently, and your partner may be so overwhelmed he or she may not be interested in having sex.
But if it sounds familiar, specialists suggest there are concrete reasons why this may be happening. They also give you signs to pay attention to, and what you might do to make it all better.
Let’s begin with all those darn distractions…
The cell phone. Yep! Some couples may still sit down to eat at the dinner table, but they don’t necessarily communicate with one another. How can they? They’re so busy checking emails, social media, voice mails that they have little energy left to check you. Celeste Holbrook, PhD, is a sexual health consultant, and she suggests…
“If your answer is your phone or tablet and not your partner, it’s time to make some changes. Plug your phone in the kitchen and (gasp) get a regular alarm clock—even an extra 10 minutes connecting with your partner sans electronic devices can give you a great boost in your sex life and relationship.”
Let’s also address the elephant in the room possibility…Infidelity. If one or both of you may have stepped out on each other, let’s face it, now there may be trust issues involved.
“Whether it is the man or the woman who was cheating, the trust, which is such an important part of the intimate connection, has been eroded,” explains Wendi L. Dumbroff, a licensed professional counselor.
“This makes it difficult to fall back into each other’s arms.” She recommends couples therapy but explains that therapy alone is not always sufficient in helping couples to resume a sexual relationship. “Slowly reconnecting in ways that feel safe for the partner who was cheated on, along with the changed dynamic between the partners develop through the couples therapy can begin to heal and create intimacy between them once again,” she adds. Read subtle signs you’ve got a cheating spouse.
You’re embarrassed about your changing body
Many of us can relate to this one. Especially if our mate is all slim and trim, and we’ve managed to pack on some pounds.
“Couples and sex therapy are useful to help partners communicate more freely around sexual issues, as well as helping to ensure that they can enjoy the sex that they do have,” says Dumbroff. (Check out the things sex therapists wish you knew.) “Additionally, practicing mindfulness exercises and learning to be present in the moment is very important, not just around how people feel about their bodies, is key to really being able to fully engage in a positive sexual experience.”
Don’t underestimate the side effects some meds may be causing.
Low libido, vaginal dryness. Dr. Holbrook says antihistamines can dry up all your membranes, from your nose to your vagina. “You may be feeling interested in sex, but need to grab some lubricant to make sure it is comfortable.”
Always check in with your doctor about side effects before starting a medication and take some time to figure out any necessary workarounds, whether it’s lubricant, extra time in foreplay, or sex prior to taking your meds for the day, the doctor adds Dr. Holbrook.
Yes. You da man! But baby, you may be suffering from Erectile Dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is the hardest thing for a man to admit. No pun intended on the hard part. But according to a Massachusetts Male Aging Study, its becoming increasingly common. In fact, they say 52-percent of the male population suffers from it.
And since I, for one, am interested in men only, I say: WTF?
No pun intended there either.
But the study reveals that at age 40, approximately 40 percent of men are affected and those rates increase to nearly 70 percent in men aged 70 years.
“Men would rather avoid a sexual encounter because of what they see as their ‘non-working penis,’ than be embarrassed with a woman—even a significant other,” Dumbroff explains. “It may just be performance anxiety because of the one time they were unable to get or to keep an erection.”
For issues such as this, she recommends men first be checked by a doctor, especially if they’re suddenly unable to get an erection, as it may be the result of a genitourinary issue or a cardiovascular problem. Sex therapy can also help couples expand their definition of sex past the act of penetration, she adds.
…and finally, well, how can I put this nicely. You might just suck in bed!
…and I don’t mean in the way you think.
Some people have the strangest names for sex, or should I say the type of sex people choose to have. Do you know what “Vanilla Sex” is? I have an idea, but I’d never heard of it, until now…
“Sometimes people realize that they may not be turned on by ‘vanilla sex,’ but rather that they are in fact kinky in their sexual preferences,” explains Dumbroff.
“It’s not that people who are into kink never have vanilla sex, but if it’s the only diet they’ve been fed, they may be bored and need to spice it up!”
This, she explains, can present problems if their partner is not interested. “If the kinky person needs to have that in their life and cannot meet their needs with porn alone, a discussion about the possibility of finding it outside the primary relationship may be necessary,” she adds.
Well, I don’t know about you, but this has given me a lot to think about. As always, I welcome your comments below.
Read of more tell-tale signs of why the two of you are on opposite ends of the sex thing at Readers Digest